Car users are sitting on more advanced features than ever before, but increasing demands for "comfort" and other considerations have focused industry brainpower on slimmer seat designs, new trim materials, and innovative technology solutions.
Electronics innovations are behind many of the advances in hybrid, diesel, and conventional gasoline engines.
For many new vehicles, light weight is paramount, and so too is eye-catching design. That's why plastic body panels will become more prevalent.
The company's powertrain strategy follows Toyota President Watanabe's dream that a Toyota car be able to cross the American continent with no refueling while cleansing the atmosphere as it travels.
In the pipeline are a "dedicated hybrid car for family use," a super-clean diesel that meets U.S. Tier 2 BIN 5 standards, and updates to more conventional engines to reduce corporate fleet CO2 averages.
Assembly plants are easy targets for criticism, but not always the right ones.